Last updated on June 25th, 2013 | Written By Darren
Ideas for a romantic weekend break in Leeds
With Leeds finishing off its very own Venice (Granary Wharf, on and around the canal), it clearly shows its aspirations for being a hotspot for brief encounters of the romantic kind. Refreshingly, Leeds offers many options for people who aren’t into glossy magazine type romantic gestures and prefer a more understated yet elegant expression of their loving intentions.
Champagne and the cinema
Start the day as you mean to go on, toasting your happiness over a champagne breakfast at Harvey Nichols. Use the miserable weather (it’s February afterall) as an excuse to head indoors – the Hyde Park Picture House helps you embrace your old school self as you enjoy the delights of the back row. For something really unique, the 1920s Armley Mills Museum cinema has only 25 seats making it a very intimate film experience.
For those willing to embrace the outdoors, and on a variety of budgets, head to a nearby supermarket or a deli like Salt’s where you can either pick out all the necessary ingredients for a picnic or have one packed for you. Leeds has plenty of spaces to sit back and watch the ducks go by – Roundhay Park, Golden Acre Park, Hyde Park – share the love and give them some of your leftover sarnies.
In the afternoon, you could also whizz around Ice Cube, Leeds’ very own outdoor ice rink and use the excuse of being cold or clumsy to cosy up. For old fashioned fun, head to the Valentines Fair (Elland Road throughout February) and enjoy some adrenaline fuelled mischief.
Pampering and theatre trip
If the outdoors isn’t your thing, try the West Yorkshire Playhouse or Leeds Grand Theatre to stimulate your partners’ mind. You could surprise your loved one with a pampering treat, guaranteed to make them smile inside and out – Waterfall Spa cater exclusively for the ladies.
Or get inventive and do it yourself – pop into Lush, buy a massage bar and enjoy a romantic rub-down. As the night draws in, you don’t have to have a wallet the size of your love-swollen heart to make it a day to remember – head out to Kirkstall Abbey to catch a free sunset or go later to enjoy the night sky’s star show.
Romantic restaurant experience
It’s now time to feed your partners’ love with a slap-up dinner. A different option is a candlelight cruise on Leeds’ waterways. For a more traditional meal, head to Bibis where white clad waiting staff and glittering mirrors will make you feel like you’re starring in your very own Hollywood fairytale. If that doesn’t appeal, the Arts Cafe bar offers a more intimate and rustic experience – think scrubbed wooden tables and candlelight.
Continue the celebrations at Epernay, a champagne bar; Oracle for some classy cocktails; or the Brasserie Forty 4, situated on the riverside and housed within a beautiful converted grain house. If you’re not ready for the night to end yet, the Wardrobe’s soul music act is sure to impress – and given that it’s totally free your wallet can feel as smugly happy as you do.
Bring the romance back with Salsa classes
To get you in the romantic spirit before the big Valentine’s day, and to literally bring you closer together, try some salsa classes. Guaranteed to either blow your partners’ mind with your nifty footwork or provide you with lots of giggles. Top the night off by shimmying it away at Cuba Libre at Azucar bar, a South American inspired cantina bar – get in before 12am and it won’t cost you a penny.
Luxury hotel options
The added bonus of a riverside location means a star-lit hand in hand stroll along the river is also on the cards. And so, finally to bed. Bed down at one of the many luxury Leeds hotels, 42 The Calls, Quebecs or Malmaison – all utterly luxurious and offering a range of tempting offers worthy of any romantic gesture.